Truman State University’s admission office sought the expertise of SEM Works consultants and adopted a new automatic admissions process through which qualified students can be accepted faster.
Last October, SEM Works President and CEO Jim Black and a colleague visited Truman to assess the University’s current admission process and make suggestions as to how the University could improve its operations.
Gina Morin, vice president of enrollment management, said Black asked the admission office why it required all students applying to Truman to write an essay when the majority of students that fit specific qualifications will automatically be accepted. Morin said the office sorted through data from previous years and found over 99.5 percent of students eligible for one of the automatic scholarships were admitted and the office could save time by simply automatically admitting these students.
“To me, the best way to describe it is it’s a simplified path to be admitted to Truman because students still need to submit an official transcript and test score because we have to know whether they’re eligible for the TruMerit scholarships,” Morin said. “But if the student falls into that category, they certainly can send us an essay because we will use that for the competitive scholarship process.”
Applicants are not required to submit an essay unless they want to enter the competitive scholarship process. This accelerated admission process allows students to receive information about starting college at Truman within a couple of days, whereas in the past it took an average of 2-3 weeks. With this quick turn around, students can begin to look into important applications such as housing and scholarships.
Morin said students that do not meet the qualifications for automatic scholarships will still undergo the traditional, holistic approach of admission. They will be required to submit an essay in addition to sending in their test scores and transcripts, much like how students have done in the past.
“We’re looking for evidence that the student can be successful at Truman, rather than looking for a reason why we wouldn’t admit that student,” Morin said. “At the end of the day, if the student’s not prepared for Truman, it’s not fair to admit them.”
Because the consultants did not come until October, the admission office had not yet implemented this automatic admission process when student applications began coming in June. Because of this, some students went through the traditional process, but others have already gone through the simplified process. For future student applications, the admission office will primarily use the accelerated process.
“It’s been a very different way for us to view things, but we also felt like it was a good thing to do, and we were getting that advice from someone who’s worked with lots of very good schools, and it’s been really well received,” Morin said.
Admission director Melody Chambers said it is too early at this point to tell if this new process will boost enrollment. However, by removing as many barriers as possible, the admission office can give information as quickly as possible to potential students, and Chambers said this can enhance the possibility of increasing the number of students at Truman, in turn.
Dana Bartch is a staff writer for Truman Media Network.